Articles by: Andy Brack

Pug Ravenel, known as a trailblazing political figure in South Carolina, also was a star Harvard quarterback who made national news.

BRACK: Remembering Pug Ravenel

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Pug Ravenel’s intensity on the football field – his zeal to be the best – stretched into the political arena years later when he inspired young men and women who wanted to change how politics worked in the state. His “reformer” spirit guided newcomers like Joe Riley, who became Charleston’s longtime mayor.

Ravenel, who later ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate against Strom Thurmond in 1978 and for Congress two years later, outlined a new path in politics in South Carolina. As one Facebook observer noted, “South Carolina lost so much for not electing him three times.”

We’ll miss Pug’s intensity, his piercing intellect, his openness to new things and his thoughtful energy fueled by ideas and common sense.

by · 03/27/2017 · 7 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: How can S.C. Democrats start winning more?

BRACK: How can S.C. Democrats start winning more?

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | With strings of losses in statewide contests over the last few years, you’d think South Carolina Democrats would be down and out. But with President Donald Trump irritating people left and right, there’s a growing enthusiasm that maybe Democrats can take advantage of new cards being dealt them.

To do so, they’re going to have to be disciplined, raise money, create a more appealing message and target sympathetic voters. And, as one longtime insider notes, they’ll have to have some pretty good luck. But the conditions in reliably red South Carolina are bubbling for Democrats at the state level to have a little more success.

by · 03/20/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  If I were King for a Day …

BRACK: If I were King for a Day …

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Sometimes the way to clarify where you stand on something is to stretch your brain with the game, “If I were King for a Day, I would ____” and then fill in the blank.

If I were King of the City of Charleston, I would:

* Stop construction of hotels.
* Build the bike lane.
* Build more affordable housing.
* Elevate the Crosstown.
* Transform Citadel Mall into a destination.

by · 03/13/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
PHOTO:  Out of the vault

PHOTO: Out of the vault

Joy Lightstone of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens shows a hand-colored map by 18th century naturalist and artist Mark Catesby that was on display for a special reception Friday for presenters of the attraction’s heirloom plant symposium on Saturday. The rare two-volume Catesby set is kept under lock and key most of the year for preservation and security purposes. Members of the public, however, can see Catesby’s drawings and engravings later this year at a special exhibit at the Gibbes Museum of Art as highlighted in Today’s Focus. (Photo by Andy Brack)

by · 03/13/2017 · 0 comments · Photos
FOCUS: Magnolia cultivates heirloom plant symposium and sale

FOCUS: Magnolia cultivates heirloom plant symposium and sale

By Herb Frazier | An heirloom plant symposium at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens on March 11 will feature a line-up of horticulturalists, a Gullah chef and a beekeeper who will explain the importance of preserving plants, stories and recipes that have been passed through the generations.

During “What’s Old is New Again,” experts will explain the historical significance of heirloom plant varieties, the correlation between them and the cultures they preserve. Speakers will also discuss why pollinators play a key role in this preservation and how these efforts are fueling the heirloom renaissance.

by · 03/06/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
BRACK:  S.C. needs to stop shooting itself in the foot

BRACK: S.C. needs to stop shooting itself in the foot

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | There’s some high-fiving going on in Columbia as state lawmakers are pushing through measures to raise the gas tax and fix the state employees’ pension system.

Unfortunately, these are solutions for problems of the legislature’s own making. Had the General Assembly done its job years ago, legislators wouldn’t have to be raising taxes to fix crumbling, pot-holed roads. They wouldn’t have to be charging taxpayers and state employees more to make up for dumb losses to the state’s pension fund.

by · 03/06/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  We must now deal with opioid abuse

BRACK: We must now deal with opioid abuse

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | If you don’t think abuse of legally-prescribed painkillers is a problem in South Carolina, just keep this number in mind: 61 million.

That’s the number of powerful, synthesized narcotic pills, known as opioids, that medical professionals prescribed in 2014 in just three counties — Charleston, Greenville and Horry. In Charleston County alone, more than 15 million opioids are prescribed annually!

by · 02/27/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: Being proud to be Southern ain’t going away anytime soon

BRACK: Being proud to be Southern ain’t going away anytime soon

In “The Resilience of Southern Identity: Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of its People” [UNC Press, $29.95], the authors argue the notion of being “Southern” is alive and well, despite years of massive changes in society from the end of institutionalized segregation and increasing urbanization to the influx of millions of people not born in the South, now the nation’s largest region with 121 million people.

Many argue, the authors write, the region’s identity is becoming less important because of years of these changes. Yet they found the opposite in a 134-page study that includes reviews of academic literature, polling data and discussions with focus groups.

by · 02/20/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views
photo by steve aycock

FOCUS: County to open Charleston skate park

Staff reports | SK8 Charleston, a concrete skate park to be operated by Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, will have grand opening events March 4 and 11 at its peninsular Charleston location, 1549 Oceanic Street, which overlooks the Ashley River.

“The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission has always looked to provide world-class facilities for the public we serve,” said CCPRC Executive Director Tom O’Rourke. “SK8 Charleston is the next in a long line of great facilities.”

“The Charleston County area has been waiting a long time for the opportunity to enjoy a facility like this. We are all as excited about the opening of this park as any facility we have opened.”

by · 02/13/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
BRACK: Where’s the saber-rattling over the ask for a federal bailout?

BRACK: Where’s the saber-rattling over the ask for a federal bailout?

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Two questions:

1. What is the state that was offered $11 billion from the federal government to provide better health care for the poorest of its citizens and said no?

2. What is the state that now wants the federal government to provide a $5 billion bailout for roads after not doing enough over the last 30 years to meet their infrastructure obligations?

Answer: South Carolina, also now known as the Hypocrisy State.

by · 02/13/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views